VARSITY! Haven’t heard of them yet? You will.
The hits from these talented five guys will surely get you pumped up and ready to dance. We sat down to chat it up with Bobby, David, Drew, Jayk and Thomas about their debut album, how they feel about the term “boy band”, and their most embarrassing CDs.
Read on to get the scoop on the members of VARSITY. [Note: At the time of this interview, the band had yet to change their name to Varisty Fanclub.]
For those that don’t know, how did you guys get together?
Jayk: Well, me and Drew actually knew each other like previously through the audition process. We went on an audition here in LA, basically just auditioned for it and we made it.
David: They had an audition from all over the country and Canada. Tom being from San Diego, me being from Indiana, Bobby being here from LA, Drew and Jayk being from Vegas; we all actually came to the same audition at the same place and randomly met each other that day. Just as luck we all made the group together, so it’s kind of a cool coincidence.
Why the name Varsity?
Drew: We have free publicity for us, in like every single middle school and high school.
Jayk: Cheerleading magazines. [Laughs]
David: It’s a strong name, we didn’t want anything long.
Drew: There can’t be any jokes made about it, not yet.
Jayk: Well, we haven’t thought of any yet. There’s one, but we’re not gonna say it.
The new single “Zero”…is HOT! Tell us about the story behind it and who you worked with on the track.
Bobby: We worked with Red One, he’s worked with..
Thomas: He did the song “Whine Up” Kat DeLuna. This guy Aaron Danyers, he did Akon..
David: He just finished working with Michael Jackson. So, it’s kinda crazy, we feel pretty good about getting a song from him.
Jayk: He’s a really nice guy too; he’s kind of hyper in the studio [Laughs]
Drew: He made a smash [Laughs]
Any plans to do a video soon?
Thomas: Um, we’re in talks for which song we’re actually going to do the video for. So, we’re not sure if it’s going to be for “Zero” or it’s between a couple of others songs we may do instead.
Jayk: Yea, that was basically just a sneak peek of our album. As for our single, I don’t know if that’s it.
Bobby: At the moment it’s a secret single. [Laughs]
Jayk: Yea, we just wanted to give people a feel of what our albums going to be like. But, for videos we’re probably going to shoot for another song for the first music video.
How would you describe Varsity’s sound?
Bobby: Happy, new-age, pop music.
David: Stuff that people haven’t heard before hopefully.
Drew: Fun, energetic, a new twist on some old pop music. We’re trying to just bring it back and make music that’s more melodic, more melody. That catchy stuff you can sing along with, you can dance to.
Thomas: Pop, R&B…Hip-pop, that’s what we like to call it.
You’re songs are definitely full of energy…I start my day with…*sings* “Let me get, get, get that chick”.
Bobby: Yeaaaaa, so do I.
Jayk: That’s how Bobby starts his day. [Laughs]
We know you’ve been working with some awesome producers/songwriters, like Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic, tell us about what fans can expect on the album.
David: Oh, that was amazing.
Thomas: Expect a great album. It’s like a good pop album, a really good vocal album.
David: It’s a really good versatile album. Each song is very different, very melodic.
Thomas: There’s dance beats, mixed beats, there’s a lot of ballads, mid-tempos. You can get all of your emotions out through our album.
David: Because of all the producers we worked with, each song just has a totally different feel. We worked with Solange Knowles, Ryan Tedder, Red One, The Jam – who did Blake Lewis, Paula DeAnda, Diane Warren. So, the album is very versatile.
What is your favorite part of being in the studio?
Thomas: I just love being in the studio.
David: Actually, we goofed around. [Laughs]
Drew: The best part is the free food. We get catering, like sushi and stuff like that.
Jayk: I think we actually paid for it. [Laughs] It feels free at the time. We get all these like peanut M&M’s, it’s pretty sweet.
Oh, peanut M&M’s; now you’re making me hungry.
Jayk: I know…seriously though [Laughs]
Music trends always seem to make a full circle throughout the years…do you think 2008 is the year “boy bands” are making a comeback?
Thomas: I think 2008 is the year for Varsity. [Laughs]
David: Yea, that’s the best way to put it.
Drew: No, we support everybody. We like almost every artist out there. But, it’s definitely the year for pop music to come back. It’s a little less rapping, less rock.
How do you feel about the term “boy band”? Do you view it as a negative, or are you okay with being put into that category?
David: It’s cool in a way; I mean we’re a vocal group. We sing, we dance… obviously we’re gonna get that.
Jayk: When people see five kids in a band they’re just gonna automatically say oh that’s a boy band. But, they don’t know the hard work that goes into the whole thing. Yea, we don’t mind it…whatever; it is what it is.
What do you think sets you guys apart from the other groups out right now?
Thomas: Well, there’s a lot actually… We write a lot of our own stuff, we sing very well together, and we’re very close knit. We actually don’t argue that much; we all get along really well. Some of us play instruments.
David: We actually belt it out while we dance.
Drew: Oh yeah, we do not lip-synch and s—.
Jayk: Yea, no lip-synching!
David: We dance full out and sing full out while we’re doing it.
Thomas: We believe in us, we believe in our sound and who we are. Every song that’s on this album, we’ve actually had to approve of. We had a lot of say in our own album. It’s more about us then who they want us to be.
Jayk: If you want us to sing acapella, we can do it. If you want us to play a little acoustic song, we can do it.
Drew: We can play sports…
Jayk: Yeah, and dance while we’re doing it. [Laughs]
What’s the most embarrassing CD in your collection, or songs one would find on your iPod?
Drew: Celine Dion! But, she’s awesome.
Jayk: My first CD I ever got was Celine Dion. It was really good. [Laughs]
David: Michael Jackson was my first CD.
Jayk: Dave does have the Hilary Duff album.
Drew: No wait, I think I have the Jump 5 album. I think that’s probably the worst for me.
Jayk: You have all of their albums.
Drew: Yea, that’s true. [All Laugh]
It’s okay, I have the Jump 5. Come on now…
Jayk: Bobby has Mandy Moore’s album.
Bobby: Mandy Moore rocks.
Okay…favorite song on the radio right now? … and you know it’s coming… What’s the most played out?
Jayk: [sings] Low, low, low…
David: The most played out is yea, definitely “Low”.
Thomas: [sings] She had them Apple Bottom jeans…
Drew: Flo Rida… is his name Florida or Flo Rida? Come on now.
Thomas: Bobby loves “No Air”.
Bobby: Thomas is anti-musical. [Laughs]
Thomas: Yeah, I don’t like anything on the radio. [Laughs]
Drew: Thomas likes Hanson.
Thomas: No I don’t.
Drew: I actually had them on my iPod too. [All laugh]
We heard you’ve been working on getting your show together…when, where will we get to see Varsity live?
Thomas: You’ll see Varsity live very soon… in a couple of months.
David: Can’t really go too much into details, because of stuff going on now; but very very soon.
Thomas: We’re waiting for some dates to get back, then we’ll definitely let you know. And it’s gonna be ri-dic-u-lous!
Any news on when the album is coming? Title?
Thomas: The single is coming out in a couple of months, and our albums coming out right after that.
Jayk: And it’s self-titled. Var-si-ty.
Well, I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Jayk: Yes, so are we.
Thomas: We’re excited.
Thank you so much for chatting with me, I’ll let you guys get to rehearsal.
Varsity: You too!
Jayk: Yea, we’re headed there right now.
Varsity: Talk to you soon!